With Summer approaching, many of us get the itch to get out and enjoy summer time activities. One of the first things to consider is the number of things you and your family want to do this Summer, and how you can make the most of your entertainment dollars. Set a budget for the season, and start making a list of the things you want to do and see. Don’t skimp on the list, even if the idea seems too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised how easy you can come up with a less expensive alternative.
Sometimes the best places my family and I have visited have been right in our own backyard. Well, not literally, but we tend to not pay attention to our own local attractions. Here in Western NY, we have beautiful lakes, camp grounds, amusement parks, and seasonal festivals too numerous to mention. When you stay local you can certainly save money on transportation cost which can be a large chunk of your budget. Your list may include things you don’t have locally, like maybe you want to go to Sea World, but the cost and distance of the trip puts that out of reach. Consider your closest zoo, a cost effective alternative to a theme park that would be a fun day trip, at a significant cost reduction.
Try Something New
Go to your local rest stop and pick up some pamphlets of the activities in your local area and do something you have never done before. In our area we have local wineries and I have always wanted to do a wine tasting tour. Low cost, and something I have never done before. We also have a local celebrity, Lucille Ball. We have a museum, and I have never been to it, even though I see tourists go into it every day! What is your area famous for? You may stumble across a real gem!
Just Do It!
The Summer season is short and before you know it, the parks and seasonal activities will pass you by. Stick to your budget, make your list, and try something new!
Happy Trails~Pay Off Your Debt
When you have made the decision to get out of debt, and you feel that debt settlement may be right for you, you need to begin the search for a legitimate debt settlement company. Recent laws have been passed that have helped weed out the good guys from the bad guys, but you should know what to look for and choose the best debt settlement company to suit your particular needs.
Debt settlement is a cost effective alternative to bankruptcy. The first thing you need to look out for is up-front fees. Debt settlement companies are NOT allowed to charge fees before a service is performed. This means, no enrollment fees, not set-up fees, no administrative fees, NO FEES, PERIOD. A legitimate debt settlement company only charges a fee when they obtain a settlement on your behalf. Fees are usually based on a percentage of the savings the company achieves for you. Read More…
I have to admit, nothing is more satisfying than saving money. We all work long and hard for our money and it just isn’t right to let it slip through the cracks. You don’t have to clip coupons if that is not your thing, however, I would recommend it! Sometimes it just takes a little homework on your part, and you can save yourself spendable, or save-able cash every month.
If you have a cell phone, this is one of the first bills I would give the once over. Many of us have extra services or insurance plans on our cell phone that we will never use. If your cell phone is over 6 months old, look into dropping any insurance coverage. Most people upgrade once a year, and at an average cost of $6.00 per month, you could could save yourself, on average, $36.00. Many of us also have a plan that allows us a certain number of minutes per month. Call your cell phone provider and see where your average minute usage averages out to be per month. You may be able to taper back on your monthly minutes, also saving you money per month. Read More…
We can blame it on a bad economy, or the ease of obtaining information online, but there has been a dramatic rise in identity theft in America, and just in the last week, it has affected people I know personally. You can’t turn on the TV without coming across stories of people that have had their lives ruined by identity thieves. Our personal information should be guarded and only given to trusted companies and we must also be aware of how to handle our own documents and receipts so we are less vulnerable to these scam artists.
Step 1- Do a Wallet Check
Many of us keep everything we think we may need in case of a nuclear meltdown in our wallets at all times. Bad idea. We have to carry our cash, drivers license, and our credit/debit cards, but that should be ALL we carry. The biggest mistake people make is carrying their Social Security card with them. Your Social Security number is all these creeps need to obtain enough information to, open a bank account, get a birth certificate, apply for a job, and get credit cards, all in your name. This is the easiest and most important thing you can do to safeguard your identity from identity theft. Read More…
When it comes to the holidays, one thing is for certain, they come at the same time every year. With that being said, how is it that we never seem to be prepared financially? There are many ways we can either implement a savings plan, or budget, and take the stress out of Christmas this year, and even start planning for next Christmas!
Christmas Savings Plans
I remember as a child and young adult, my Grandmother always started a Christmas Club for me in December and by the next December, she gave me a check in the amount she had saved. We can learn a lot from the wise elders in our lives, when it comes to living on a budget, and not using credit cards to finance every little thing. A Christmas club is really just a forced savings plan that many banks still offer. You decide your Christmas budget, either for one lucky person, or for your whole family, divide that amount by 12 and that is the amount you have to pay into the club each month. In December, guess what, instead of wondering where you can pull the money from, it is sitting in an account, ready to be spent on your loved ones. Now you can get out and enjoy the bustling malls, enjoy the Christmas music, and maybe even bake some cookies. You just created a STRESS FREE Christmas! So if you are feeling empowered by this little tip, take yourself to your bank today, and in December 2013 you will be ready. Read More…